Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State said Monday he owed no apologies to anyone regarding his advice to Lagos residents last week to discountenance godfathers in their political dealings.
The governor, who spoke to State House correspondents after meeting behind closed doors with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, however, did not mention any name.
But in a swift reaction last night, Lagos State chapter of All Progressives Congress, APC, said talk was cheap, adding Tinubu remained their leader saying: ‘”they want to be like ASIWAJU, they want to command respect, they want the world to accept them the way they have accepted ASIWAJU , they want to get great followers like ASIWAJU BAT,
Recall that the Kaduna State governor’s recent comments in Lagos were largely construed by pundits in the media as a deliberate attack on the national leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC and former Lagos State Governor Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who has a strong influence on political developments in the state.
But el-Rufai said: “There is no dispute between me and anyone in the APC, the APC is one family, I don’t dispute with my own party. They may dispute with me but I don’t.
“I made comments in Lagos about how to retire godfathers. It is a template that we have used in Kaduna and it has worked. If anybody thinks he is a godfather, the template may apply to him but I am not in dispute with anyone.
“I expressed my views firmly and very clearly, there is no human being that I am afraid to express my views on, and when I am ready to express my views, specifically on a particular name, then I will do so but I haven’t.”
Pressed to know if he wanted Tinubu retired as the godfather of Lagos politics, the governor said he was in the same party as the former Lagos State governor, adding that they got along very well. ”But I don’t know if he is the godfather of Lagos, it’s up to him to say that. What I know for sure is that we have retired godfathers in Kaduna and I have told those that asked me the question that ‘there are six million registered voters in Lagos but only one million voted,’ in the last election.
”So there are five million people that you can bring into the electoral playground and you can defeat anyone if you work hard’.
“It’s hard work, it’s four years. That is what I said and if anyone feels offended by that, that is his or her business. “I have no apologies, I don’t apologize for my views.
My views are thought-out and I put them there. I don’t have to explain anything to anyone. This is a democracy, and in a democratic space, there must be room for people to express their views.”
Reacting to El-Rufai’s statement yesterday, Publicity Secretary, Lagos chapter of All Progressives Congress, APC, Mr. Joe Igbokwe, said: “Talk is cheap, anybody can make any statement. They want to be like Asiwaju, they want to command respect, they want the world to accept them the way they have accepted Asiwaju, they want to be admired the way people admire Asiwaju.
Tinubu lauds Nigerians on Buhari’s re-election says he will continue the anti-corruption fight “But in actions and deeds, they are not like Asiwaju. In character and intolerance, they are not like Asiwaju.
In commitment and hard work, they are not like BAT. In grace and empathy, they are not like BAT. In temperament and love for humanity, they are not like Asiwaju.
”They cannot surrender their home to the people the way BAT has been doing. They cannot fight for others the way BAT does. They cannot deny themselves freedom for the sake of others .